Torontonians enjoy patio season at Bellwoods Brewery, on Ossington Avenue.
Food News

Patio season begins now

Warm weather has Toronto bars opening their outside spaces for busy long weekend

It may be spring around the world, but in Toronto it’s patio season.

Toronto bars and their patrons are shedding layers with the warm weather and are ready to line up for premium patio seats on the first long weekend of spring.

“After the last two winters that we’ve had, I’m excited to be able to sit outside, soak up some rays and enjoy a couple of beers this weekend,” Derek MacLachlan said, in front of the Beer Hall on Wednesday evening.

An Environment Canada weather statement says the temperature is rising to 16 degrees in Toronto on Thursday, which Rocco Mastrangelo Jr., co-owner of Café Diplomatico on College Street, says is more than warm enough to kick off patio season.

“All we need is 10 degrees, no wind and sun, for it to be open during the day,” Mastrangelo Jr. said, adding he expects to have a full patio this weekend.

Bellwoods Brewery confirmed it would also open its front patio on Ossington Avenue this weekend, as it expects large crowds for its third anniversary.

However, while the weather is warming up some bars are still a bit skeptical of opening, as the possibility of thunderstorms and rain are also in the forecast.

“We are ready with staff to open Thursday and Friday, if the weather cooperates,”said Scot Bateman, general manager of The Pilot on Cumberland Street in Yorkville.

Bateman said that he hopes the rain will hold off, as patio season means much more than nice weather to the third floor rooftop patio, the Flight Deck.

The patio, which holds 185 people, “triples” the Pilot’s capacity when it’s open, as Torontonians clearly enjoy the outside.

“The Flight Deck accounts for almost half of our sales for the year so we would definitely consider the patio season a huge part of our business,” Bateman said.

Likewise, Janet Lourenco, general manager of Pauper’s Pub on Bloor Street West, says she hopes the sun sticks around long enough this weekend, as the patio draws more Torontonians to their pub. “Our seating doubles during patio season, it’s a big deal to us,” Lourenco said.

According, to Carolyn Legaspi, patio season is popular because it brings the city to life.

“It really restores a warm and happy feeling that seems to be missing in the colder months,” Legaspi said.

“You can hear laughter and friendly conversations, you can see lots of smiling people and it really reminds you of why Toronto is such a great city,” Legapsi added.

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